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Speaking Up as an Act of Self-Love with Dr. Donna Lee

Have you ever stopped to think about how using your voice to communicate your needs and your boundaries is truly the ultimate act of love… whether it be self-love or sending your love to others? 

I am joined by trauma informed intuitive life coach and author of the spiritual memoir, ‘Finding Healing Through the Darkness’, Dr. Donna Lee, as she reveals how life compelled her to grant herself the permission to prioritize self-care and mature at a young age. Now, standing in a space of resilience, she passionately guides other women on their paths to discovering the profound worthiness within. 

Together, we explore the transformative nature of vocalizing our needs and boundaries, recognizing that this act is a genuine manifestation of love that can lead to true healing and growth. 

LAUREN and Dr. Donna Lee ALSO discuss...

  1. Dr. Donna Lee’s personal journey, including childhood trauma, becoming a young mother, and the loss of her mother and son

  2. How boundaries are a form of self-love AND love for the people we interact with

  3. Dr. Lee’s work with helping thousands of women find their intuitive voice to live a life that empowers them to chase after what they desire!

ABOUT Dr. Donna Lee

Dr. Donna Lee is a trauma informed intuitive life coach with 22 years of coaching women. She helps women to be more resilient and abundant after going through a traumatic experience. She is the author of her spiritual memoir Finding Healing Through the Darkness which is about how to navigate through the grieving process.

Connect with Dr. Donna Lee


Begin Visualizing a Life You Love with this Free Hypnosis Audio!

Episode hightlights

(00:02:41) Dr. Donna Lee shares her personal journey of overcoming childhood trauma, becoming a young mother, and the loss of her mother and son.

(00:06:23) Dr. Donna Lee discusses the importance of giving oneself permission to feel and grieve, and how it can lead to healing and self-discovery.

(00:10:24) Dr. Donna Lee talks about her work as a trauma-informed intuitive life coach, supporting women in finding their voice and giving themselves permission to be heard.

(00:11:46) The importance of using your voice to set boundaries and take care of yourself.

(00:13:15) Advice on setting boundaries and overcoming guilt associated with putting yourself first.

(00:15:45) The importance of communicating your needs and setting boundaries in relationships, including with spouses and children.

*Click on the arrow below to expand the transcript

Lauren Best (00:00:08) – Welcome to Provoking Possibilities, where we reflect on pivotal life moments, ask thought provoking questions, and dream up new possibilities for living a life you love that may be a little out of your current reality. I’m Lauren Best, a certified hypnotherapist and provoker of possibility, and I’ve created this podcast for people who are curious about exploring new ways of living, who are looking to connect deeper with their bodies, their intuition, their hearts, and then known and who are really ready to just embrace their most authentic selves, to move into flow and into alignment. There is just so much that is possible for us when we open ourselves up to exploring new possibilities beyond our wildest imagination. So if you’re ready and curious to begin exploring new possibilities, join me every week for a new episode of Provoking Possibilities on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Let’s dive in. Hi everyone! I am so happy to be back for another conversation as part of this mini series of intentional conversations with individuals who have dared to follow their hearts and intuition amongst the unknown by giving themselves the permission slips they have needed to receive or give themselves, to stop missing out on life, or just keep finding the love in their heart to experience a life that they love.

Lauren Best (00:01:35) – So I’m excited to have a new friend of mine, Doctor Donna Lee, who is a trauma informed, intuitive life coach. With 22 years of coaching women, she helps women to become more resilient and abundant after going through a traumatic experience. And she is the author of her spiritual memoir, Finding Healing Through the Darkness, which is about how to navigate through the grieving process. Thank you, Donna, for joining me. I am so excited because we’ve been getting to know each other in the beautiful, confident new community and you have just been like this light in my life, just always showing up with a smile. And I know you know, the things that you support other people with and the things that you have been through in your life haven’t always, I imagined, felt like this light or like this thing that’s, you know, easy to move through. So I am so excited to have you share with us a little bit about that and how you found that light within yourself as well. So thank you for being here.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:02:41) – Well, I want to say thank you, Lauren, for having me as a guest. I really have enjoyed getting to know you over the past few weeks, and you’re always having a great smile. And I know what it’s like to navigate through life. And sometimes we can do it with a smile and sometimes it’s hard to smile. Right? And I’m 52 will be 53 at the end of this year. So through this journey and I’ve had to navigate so many things, um, childhood trauma after my mother died and having caretakers who weren’t as loving and healthy as my mom was. And that was interesting because I kind of had this bubble of how I thought the world would be, because even though my mom was a strict disciplinarian, always felt the love. And then I grew up and, you know, well, as a teenager, I became a mom. So I became a young mom as a teenager, and I really had to learn how to work against adversity and be tenacious and, you know, a survivalist.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:03:47) – And so I was introduced to obstacles early in life. My son was a blessing because he motivated me to keep pushing. He gave me worse after losing the most important person in my life, my mother. So I seen my son as his continuation of my mom. He continued to raise me, grow me, help me find strength despite not having great caretakers. At 16, I got myself emancipated. I told the judge and I wrote about this in my book, it’s not up to you, it’s up to me. You’re emancipating me. And there’s a whole story around I. I kind of grew this attitude of survival. Yeah. And over time, I had to learn, you know, healing, peace and survival at the same time. And so I wouldn’t be a defensive adult and be an angry and adult. I understand why people get angry and hurt, especially when they don’t have the support. And so I didn’t always have the support. Then I get into coaching after chiropractor school. Somehow I fall into coaching and I’m coaching and working as a spiritual coach and a psychic and doing readings and coaching.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:05:00) – And I already had quite, I thought, enough of a life. Story to share. You know, losing my mom, having bad caretakers, being in foster care, becoming a teen mom. I have my son at 13. So I had a real young and. I’m coaching in eight years into coaching. My son has is diagnosed with a brain tumor. He has surgery eight days later, passes away 12 days later. And this is in the midst of all this spirituality and coaching and trying to understand the meaning of life. I think we’re always trying to understand that. Right. What is life? Because it’s different for each person? I don’t think there’s a universal answer. There’s 8 billion people on the planet. We all have our own journey and it’s to be respected. Um, our differences are beautiful.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:05:52) – Um.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:05:53) – And so I’m going through this tough situation, and I’m learning how much discomfort there is with grief and tough situations. And, you know, I had to tell my clients what we’re going, what was going on because I had to plan a funeral.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:06:08) – I needed healing time, although I was working a lot. And I realized that. Sometimes in life we’re looking for ways to mask some of that pain. And they were shocked and like, well, your coaches should be easy. I said, no, I’m a human.

Lauren Best (00:06:23) – Yeah, and I’m a human. That’s right.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:06:26) – Human experience. You know, we talk about spirituality and sometimes it’s used as a way to escape pain. But I use spirituality as a way to get more comfortable with being a human being, because we don’t know what life’s going to throw at us. Look at the world, right? We just don’t know. And the world can be beautiful despite everything that goes on that isn’t beautiful at times. Um, so I realized that my clients had questions, and at first they’re like, whoa, you’re going through this tough thing. But they finally realized that they were getting more permission to be their selves into grief. Because I was grieving, I was working, I was living my life.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:07:09) – I was still in spirituality, but I gave myself permission to feel and to feel the weight of everything. And that’s something that I really focus on in my life, is feeling the weight of who you are, your feelings, your pain. Because that’s how you discover who you are.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:07:26) – Yeah, and.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:07:27) – That’s how you validate yourself.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:07:29) – Yeah.

Lauren Best (00:07:29) – And it seems like you from a very young age had. Had these, I guess, opportunities in a way, to give yourself permission to say like, this is what I need to do for myself. And so was that something you always like felt was a very strong quality within you, or was it, you know, something because of these really tough circumstances that you found yourself in, was like something you had to learn or like what? What did that feel like for you? You know, or even now reflecting back on these moments where it’s like, you know, to take that, that leap, you know, that decision even to become emancipated was like, I can imagine what that would have been like.

Lauren Best (00:08:17) – But it just from hearing that I felt a strength in your voice and this confidence and you know, what was that like for you then with that ability to give yourself permission to know, like, this is what you need?

Dr. Donna Lee (00:08:31) – Well, it was so forced upon me. Um, my mother was a I mean, she has forefoot left and she’s a powerhouse. There’s a whole nother. That’s a whole nother story. How my mom was. So she was my protector. You know, my father was dying. Whole nother story. So when she passed, I had no choice. It’s like I didn’t have choices anymore. I didn’t have a choice to be a kid anymore. Um, even before I became a mom, I was already in survival and taking a stand and standing up for myself. And I realized that, you know, my mom always gave me a voice. But a lot of adults don’t give voices to children out in the world. And I said, well, I’m going to look like I’m disrespectful and rebellious, but I’m going to use my voice.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:09:22) – I’m going to stand up for myself and what I need. And I realized I had to give it to myself because no one was going to give it to me.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:09:31) – Right?

Dr. Donna Lee (00:09:31) – Like, you know, at first, you know, I, I went to the judge twice, and the first time he did not want emancipate me. I came back and I came back with this attitude. And I said, you don’t understand. These aren’t any other options for me, right? I can stay in a system that’s broken. Our foster care system is broken in the States. There’s some good foster parents, but not enough. And so yes, I, I was just forced upon me to push and to say, I have to take care of myself. I have to take care of my son. I have to use my voice. It’s not optional. Childhood. Childhood was taken away and it was taken away and my mom passed.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:10:09) – Yeah, and?

Dr. Donna Lee (00:10:11) – And, you know, so it happens, you know, unfortunately happens to so many people.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:10:17) – They lose their parents at a young age. Some have good caretakers, some don’t. I didn’t, so I just had to do it.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:10:23) – Yeah.

Lauren Best (00:10:24) – And now like with those experiences and to the place that you are in now where you’re supporting other people to find that voice and to use that voice and give themselves permission, how does it feel like being in this place now where survival, like isn’t your default and you get you, you know, you get to do this work because this is what you were meant to do. And there’s like so much meaning behind it, not only for their lives, but yours. Like, where does that come from now when you realize, like, yeah, you get to do this because you’re just and you’re in this different space now.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:11:07) – It comes from the life experience, but it’s also safe. You know, it’s it’s safe for people to use her voice, especially for women, where you weren’t always taught to use her voice. Yeah. We’re taught to be seen and not heard.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:11:19) – Yeah.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:11:20) – And so not just in childhood, but in adulthood. And it it’s fun when a client, I work with a client and they just don’t know if they can overcome and then they come back and they’re like, I said, a boundary. I said at work, I said it with family. I said it would have spells. I said, oh, you better go hide in the bushes because your spouse is going to come looking for me since I taught you the strength. I always make jokes, you know, I better go running.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:11:45) – Yeah, it’s.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:11:46) – It’s wonderful when someone says, I get to use my voice and it doesn’t make me mean or witty or selfish. I’m taking care of me as self-care, using your voice as self-care. It’s the ultimate self-care. You know, we we equate self-care to bubble baths and great things. I love those, but it’s really using your voice and saying, this is not okay and this is what I need. And if you can’t give it to me, I give it to myself.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:12:17) – I can take care of myself, and I don’t have to fall in line with social constructs. Yeah, because we all have a little bit of that within us, a social construct. Some of our beliefs are that way. And for women, we really are still caught up in that in 2023. It’s hard to know. So I always tell a woman, you have to find out what works for you. You can’t go with the crowd because what works for me may not work for you.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:12:43) – Yeah, yeah.

Lauren Best (00:12:44) – And one of those things I know you just mentioned was setting those boundaries and encouraging people to use these different, like, different things that will work for them. And so what are some things that you would recommend to anyone who’s listening, who is like struggling to give themself permission to, to set that first boundary or, or like if you have any other examples of what that could look like, you know, what would you say to them?

Dr. Donna Lee (00:13:15) – And the first thing I would say to a person is it might be hard to set a boundary because of how you’re brought up to be nice, to put people first, to care for others.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:13:28) – Um, don’t be selfish. Um, don’t. It’ll make you feel guilty, right? If you set a boundary. But when you think about boundaries, think about. It’s where I could take care of myself and other people at the same time.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:13:40) – Yeah, and you.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:13:41) – Have to take care of yourself first in order to be there for anyone. And if you’re around someone who isn’t good for your soul, you have to have a boundary with them. And it takes time. So the first thing you want to give yourself an affirmation of, I deserve to set boundaries. I’m worthy of setting boundaries. I am worthy of setting, of putting myself first. I deserve to have boundaries without feeling guilty because it’s always attached to guilt, especially for women. It’s like, I.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:14:13) – Don’t want to be mean.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:14:14) – I don’t want to be called the B-word.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:14:15) – Yeah, and.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:14:17) – The way that you first start was setting the boundaries. Ask yourself, what is the one thing you need now to stay sane? And for a lot of people, they need free time.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:14:26) – So you may. And if you have kids and a spouse, you may have to tell them, look, I need a half hour to myself every day. I may sit in the bathroom, I may sit in a closet, but I need that half hour. You know, if that requires your spouse saying, you know, telling your spouse you’re taking care of the kids for this half hour, I don’t care. It’s going on, I need that. But you go into agreement. If you have a spouse, you find agreement. And if your spouse needs a half hour and you guys make an agreement. So a lot of times boundaries can be agreements and a house. And you tell your kids, I love you, but I need personal space right now. You’re important to me. This is not because I want to get away from you, but I need personal space just to recharge. And so it’s all in how you do it. If you do it with love. Because we treat boundaries as this forceful, aggressive, angry thing when it really isn’t.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:15:16) – Yeah, it’s.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:15:17) – Really about self-love and love for the people that you interact with.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:15:20) – Yeah.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:15:21) – And so a lot of times this time, um, it’s saying no to people when you’ve been busy saying yes to helping everyone, sometimes you have to say it just does it, and you can just say it doesn’t work for me. You can say, I’m sorry. I would love to help. You know, I’d love to help, but it just doesn’t work for me right now.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:15:39) – Yeah. And yeah.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:15:40) – So it doesn’t have to be mean. It can be very gentle.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:15:45) – Mhm.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:15:45) – You can say anything soft. You tell your spouse I love you. But this one thing drives me a little bit crazy. Can we talk about it. You know because everybody gets annoyed with their spouse if that’s if you’re really married. I’ve learned that from all the years of studying marriages.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:16:02) – Yeah. Oh my gosh.

Lauren Best (00:16:06) – Well it’s just such good advice. And I think it really speaks to, you know, the amount of permission that sometimes we or, you know, just as humans don’t realize that we get to give ourselves like that, we sometimes don’t even realize is an option for us.

Lauren Best (00:16:26) – And I think you have obviously had to give yourself permission in so many different ways in life and now are in this space, getting to give yourself permission in the ways that you choose, you know, rather than based on circumstance. So I think there’s like just so much inspiration that comes from that and the work that you’re doing to support others to find that as well. So how can people find out more about you and the work you do or connect with you?

Dr. Donna Lee (00:16:55) – Um, you can find me at Doctor podia. That is my website with all of my information. Or you can find me on on Facebook at Doctor Donna Lee spiritual mindset coach or on Instagram doctor Donna Eileen Lee, I want to say one more thing. Remember, boundaries is communication. Yeah. So when you have to set a boundary, you’re just telling people what you need, that’s all. It’s nothing mean. That’s all they need to know what you need, right? Nobody can read our mind.

Lauren Best (00:17:30) – Exactly. Well, that’s the thing I think that is really interesting around and especially maybe and you probably have more insight to this as well.

Lauren Best (00:17:40) – But even in a family dynamic, whether it be parents or children or siblings, it’s like because sometimes, you know, I have experienced this, like you’ve spent so much time around these people there, there are these moments where you’re on that receiving end or you’re giving off that feeling of like, why can’t you just read my mind already? Like we’ve been together or around each other so often, and I think it is that good reminder of like, we can’t read minds. Yes, maybe intuitively you might be in more in sync. But, you know, and as I mentioned, you probably have more understanding of that. Um, but I think that’s a really good reminder to people of like, we get to communicate, whether it be injuries or our needs, because in fact, we cannot read each other. Not all of us can read minds. Right.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:18:36) – But even as a.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:18:37) – Psychic, I can’t go that deep, right? Because you’re not supposed to be able to with your partner.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:18:43) – You know?

Dr. Donna Lee (00:18:45) – Yeah, because we’re meant to talk.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:18:46) – And, you know, it may make you nervous at first. And then it becomes easier, and you feel empowered. Like that was easy. Uh, the other time.

Lauren Best (00:18:55) – Oh, my gosh, it’s so beautiful and such a good reminder. But thank you so much for joining me. This has been just so much fun to hear more about your story and the adversities that you’ve had to overcome, and the beauty and the magic that you’ve created from all of these things that you have gone through and the power that you’ve like reclaimed for yourself that you’re really. Allowing yourself to ripple out towards the world in all different ways and spaces. So thank you for that and thank you for joining me. Of course it was. Yeah, just such a pleasure.

Dr. Donna Lee (00:19:32) – Well, thank you for having me. So nice talking to you.

Lauren Best (00:19:35) – Thanks, Donna. We’ll talk soon. Thank you, everyone for listening as well. And definitely check out Doctor Donna Lee’s book, if you haven’t already. The spiritual memoir Finding Healing Through the Darkness.

Lauren Best (00:19:55) – Because you’ve been listening to the show, I want to leave You with a Little Treat, which is one of my favorite hypnosis audios that will help you let go of the noise and worry from your everyday life by bringing you to a place where you can connect with your subconscious mind and imagine and dream about your life. Because as we continue to move through ebbs and flows and seasons of our lives, there will likely be times where envisioning new possibilities becomes difficult, or where we struggle to move out of that autopilot mode and into self-awareness to really live the lives that we want. So do listen to this audio. It will encourage you to keep dreaming about your life, even during uncertain times where new possibilities may feel cloudy. Hypnosis has been such an amazing tool that I myself have used to move from a state of overwhelm and stuckness to really being able to keep dreaming about my life. And I know you can too. So visit the link below to download the Visualize a Life You Love Hypnosis audio for free or visit my website.

Lauren Best (00:20:58) – Lauren. Thank you so much for joining me on this journey of exploring new possibilities and embracing your most authentic self. I appreciate you and your willingness to open your mind and your heart to new ideas and ways of being that are beyond your current reality. So if you found value in this episode, please take a moment to leave a reading and review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to this podcast. Your support helps us to spread the message of compassion, self-discovery, and personal growth to more people who may benefit from it. And if you’re looking for additional support on your journey of self-discovery and transformation, I invite you to visit my website at Lawrence Bascombe, where you’ll find resources, courses, and coaching services to help you navigate life’s challenges with more ease and joy and confidence and support. So please check that out. And more than anything, I hope you’ll remember that you’re not alone on this journey. We are all in this together, and by embracing our most authentic selves, we can create more compassion and connection to the world.

Lauren Best (00:22:14) – So please keep dreaming, keep exploring, and keep provoking possibilities with love and intuition. I’ll be back soon with more thought provoking questions, inspiring stories, and powerful insights and conversations to support you on your journey. But until then, take care of yourself and others and remember that you are worthy of love and possibility.


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